The president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance sat down with editors of Bloomberg’s Ottawa bureau this week to discuss a host of trucking issues, including the state of the freight economy and the Alliance’s latest message to federal MPs to develop a comprehensive approach to spur truck technology innovation and investment.
“For the foreseeable future, we will likely be a smaller industry,” David Bradley said in an interview in Bloomberg’s Ottawa bureau. “People aren’t buying equipment to grow, they are buying just to replace stuff that’s getting old.”
Trucking business with the U.S. fell by about 30 percent in the last recession and about half of that has returned since, Bradley said.
As Bloomberg reports, Bradley said the main difficulty for Canada’s trucking industry has shifted from a stronger Canadian dollar to the plunge in factory shipments going to the U.S. from Ontario and Quebec.
“The elephant in the room is always the U.S. economy, and the signs seem to be a little better lately, just at the same time that Canada perhaps seems to be slowing a little bit,” he said.
Regardless, Bradley remained bullish on the industry. “It just may look different and be a bit smaller than it was.”
Bradley testified before Commons Standing Committee on Transport yesterday, along with Groupe Robert President Claude Robert to urge lawmakers to develop a “common view and coordinated approach” among all interested federal departments to increase highway safety and making it easier for trucking to expand its role in helping Canada meet its stated GHG reduction targets.